Joe Weider’s Olympia is the pinnacle of bodybuilding competitions, bringing pros from across the globe together to compete for a coveted Ms. Bikini, Figure, Fitness, or Physique Olympia title.

It takes time, dedication, and success at some of bodybuilding’s largest shows before a competitor finally steps onto the Olympia stage, and the process isn’t for the faint-hearted. Every show entails a grueling prep, and adherence to the strict diet and exercise regimen during preparation is crucial.

We asked some experienced Olympians just what it takes to make it to the top of the bodybuilding world, and they were more than happy to let us in on their strategies. Click through for words of wisdom from 10 Olympia competitors and champs.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated to reflect the athletes’ current records.